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Fairlane models for 1968 were larger overall. Their fresh and stylish body designs were shared with the new, extra-plush, “Fairlane Torino” line (effectively marketed as a separate nameplate, the upscale Torino is not covered here). Thus, the 1968 Fairlane 500 and Fairlane became lower-cost alternatives to the Torino. Although the GT performance models had also migrated to the Torino line, Fairlanes could still be equipped as high-performance cars. Fairlane two-door hardtops for 1968-69 included both a formal notchback and (500 only) “SportsRoof” fastback. Pillared coupes were discontinued, but there was still a Fairlane 500 Convertible. A 250-cid six and 302-cid V8 constituted base Fairlane engines, while hardtop-only high-performance V8 options at first included a smokin’ 390-hp ‘street’ 427. It would be replaced by similarily potent Cobra Jet 428 variants by year's end.
In 1969, Ford pursued Plymouth's Road Runner with the Fairlane-based Cobra, powered by a 335-hp Ram-Air CJ 428—also available, albeit rarely ordered, in regular Fairlanes (except wagons). Competitive with the best of their contemporaries, the ‘Better Idea’ 1968-69 Fairlanes are deserving of collector consideration.